An­other pas­tor with du­bi­ous healing

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIHLE MANDA sihle.manda@inl.co.za

A DAVEYTON pas­tor, who made his con­gre­gants drink a ve­hi­cle en­gine clean­ing fluid dur­ing a ser­mon, has be­come the lat­est in a se­ries of cler­gy­men who used con­tro­ver­sial meth­ods to “cure” their mem­bers.

The Star has seen pic­tures of Prophet Theo Bongani Maseko of the Breath of Christ Min­istries mak­ing his con­gre­gants drink the chem­i­cal dur­ing a ser­vice. It is un­der­stood that the in­ci­dent hap­pened last week.

A se­ries of pas­tors have for the past two years made head­lines for mak­ing con­gre­gants eat grass and in­sects and drink dan­ger­ous con­coc­tions.

In an in­ter­view with The Star yes­ter­day, Maseko con­firmed he had made his con­gre­gants drink the chem­i­cal. Asked why he had used this method, he said it was “to demon­strate the power of God”. “When we pray over any­thing, its poi­son dies. So it can’t harm peo­ple. Noth­ing hap­pened, no one has been to hos­pi­tal,” he said.

On the con­trary, he said, con­gre­gants who had drunk the en­gine cleaner had been “saved, healed and de­liv­ered”. He backed up his claims by cit­ing Bi­ble verses.

“Je­sus spat on the ground and made mud. He took that mud and smeared it on the eyes of a blind man and, in­stantly, that blind­ness was healed. Mark 16 v 17-18 says ‘…in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up ser­pents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall re­cover’,” he said.

Com­mis­sion for Pro­mo­tion and Pro­tec­tion of the Rights of Re­li­gious, Cul­tural and Lin­guis­tic Com­mu­ni­ties chair­per­son Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva was livid at the lat­est in­ci­dent. She urged re­li­gious lead­ers to rally to­gether and bring an end to what she de­scribed as “reck­less” abuse of Chris­tian­ity.

“A lot of peo­ple are go­ing to die one of these days; we are for­tu­nate that has not hap­pened. A lot of peo­ple’s lives are at risk here,” she said.

She said pas­tors should al­low their churches to be reg­u­lated as this would bring an end to such in­ci­dents. “Doc­tors have a peer review body, so do lawyers, so they know they can’t do any­thing un­ac­cept­able. Why should it be dif­fer­ent with them (pas­tors)?” she asked.

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